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Study of 96,000 Covid-19 Patients Finds Hydroxychloroquine Increased Their Risk of Dying


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"The drug US President Donald Trump said he was taking to ward off Covid-19 actually increases the risk of patients with the disease dying from it," reports the BBC, citing a new study published Friday in the Lancet. "The study said there were no benefits to treating patients with the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine..." Hydroxychloroquine is safe for malaria, and conditions like lupus or arthritis, but no clinical trials have recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus. The Lancet study involved 96,000 coronavirus patients, nearly 15,000 of whom were given hydroxychloroquine — or a related form chloroquine — either alone or with an antibiotic. The study found that the patients were more likely to die in hospital and develop heart rhythm complications than other Covid patients in a comparison group. The death rates of the treated groups were: hydroxychloroquine 18%; chloroquine 16.4%; control group 9%. Those treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in combination with antibiotics had an even higher death rate. The researchers warned that hydroxychloroquine should not be used outside of clinical trials. The BBC also reports that a separate trial involving over 40,000 healthcare workers around the world is now testing whether hydroxychloroquine could prevent infection.

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